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Ryan Woods relishing underdog tag

27 January 2017

Midfielder looks forward to tomorrow’s Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round tie against Chelsea

Ryan Woods thinks that all the pressure is on Chelsea as Brentford prepare to make the trip to Stamford Bridge to take on their near neighbours in the Fourth Round of the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday. While only six miles separate the two sides geographically there are 34 places between them in the league pyramid with The Blues eight points clear at the top of the Premier League. Ryan believes that The Bees head to Stamford Bridge very much the underdogs, a tag that suits him and his teammates just fine.

Speaking to Bees Player ahead of the match, Ryan said: “We are all very level headed here and we know that a lot of people are going to say that Chelsea are very strong favourites. It is like any other game for us: we are going to go there and play our own stuff, make it difficult for them and see what happens.  The pressure is on them as we are very much the underdogs and we will take that to be honest. They are there at the top of the Premier League for a reason. We are there to enjoy ourselves, put the best possible performance in, and hopefully the underdogs will win on the day.”

Despite the anticipated changes to Antonio Conte’s side for the cup, Ryan is still expected to line up against World Cup winner Cesc Fabregas and highly-rated youngster Nathaniel Chalobah in the midfield tomorrow. At 23 years old, Ryan sees his future one day in the Premier League and feels that tomorrow will be a good chance to showcase his talents.

“We are all really excited and we have all trained really well,” said Ryan. “All the lads are buzzing to go to Stamford Bridge and see what we are capable of. It is just another game really even though it is Chelsea. We all know how much of a good side they are. It will be a big test but we are going to go there, enjoy ourselves and hopefully take them all the way to the line. It is all about testing yourself and seeing where you are as a player at the moment. We all want to be in the Premier League so this is another chance to see where we are and take it from there.”

Tomorrow’s game sold out over a week ago with more than 41,000 fans expected to pack out The Bridge. Having already been to St James’ Park, Villa Park, and The Amex Stadium this season, Ryan believes he and his teammates can cope, and indeed flourish, on the big stage. 

“You only have to look at the fixtures we have around this one with Aston Villa and Brighton and Hove Albion,” said Ryan. “They are Premier League teams and will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season. We have had some tough fixtures so we are looking forward to going to Stamford Bridge where a lot of us haven’t played before. We will just enjoy the occasion and see what we are capable of. We are used to the big stadiums having gone to places like Newcastle United already. There are a lot of big clubs in this league and we are used to big stadiums now. Stamford Bridge will be new to a lot of us but we will enjoy the moment and see what we can do on the day.”


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